Crews fight fire in dead tree at Olin Park from land and water

Madison Fire Department

MADISON, Wis. — A fire inside an 80-foot-tall tree along the lakeshore at Olin Park might have been caused by discarded cigarette butts, fire officials said.

Crews were dispatched to Olin Park around 2:45 p.m. Monday after getting a report that a tree was on fire. When they arrived at Olin Park, a person flagged down firefighters to point out the tree’s location.

After a quarter-mile hike along a lakeshore path, firefighters found the dead, burning tree with fire coming from multiple spots in the trunk and out the top of the tallest branches. Crews used a water can extinguisher to put out the flames that had spread to the ground nearby.

Madison fire officials said they needed assistance from the Madison Fire Department’s Lake Rescue Team because some of the flames were difficult to reach from land.

Though they couldn’t decisively say what caused the fire, fire officials said they found a pair of cigarette butts close to the tree.